Jury Finds In Favor Of Power Integrations In Patent-Infringement Lawsuit Against Fairchild, Which Vows To Contest Decision

September 23, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Power Integrations announced that a jury has upheld the validity of all four patents asserted by the company in its patent-infringement lawsuit against Fairchild Semiconductor. In October 2006, a separate jury found that Fairchild willfully infringed the four patents, and awarded Power Integrations damages of approximately $34 million.

Power Integrations will now request a permanent injunction against the continued manufacture, importation and sale of the infringing Fairchild parts. All of the Fairchild parts listed in the decision were found to infringe and may be subject to an injunction. These parts are currently found in such end products as cellphone chargers, DVD players, TV set-top boxes, LCD monitors and others.

Power Integrations will also request enhancement of the damage award based on the prior jury’s finding of willfulness. Separately, the company is seeking the dismissal of Fairchild’s suit against Power Integrations. A hearing is set for that motion on October 5, 2007.

Fairchild responded by stating that the verdict finding was incorrect and disappointing, and that it was planning to contest those findings and several other errors the company says have been made during the litigation that began in 2004. The company will begin this process soon, with a series of motions it expects to file in coming days and weeks and, if necessary, on appeal.

According to Fairchild, the enforceability phase of the litigation is continuing before the judge in the case and is expected to be completed on September 24, 2007. Rulings from that phase of the litigation may take several weeks and may overturn parts of the jury verdict.

The company said one aspect of an earlier verdict, which found Fairchild had willfully infringed the Power Integrations patents, should be dismissed or put to a new trial because of an August 20 higher court ruling that overturned a quarter-century of precedent related to willful patent infringement. And the company said it would request a reduction in the level of damages awarded in an earlier round of the litigation because of errors in the way damages were calculated. Fairchild said it would also contest several decisions made by the court over the course of the three-year-old dispute, including the division of the trial into several phases, rulings construing the claims of the patents involved, and limitations on the evidence Fairchild was permitted to present.

Fairchild also stated that it has already released a new generation of advanced pulse-width modulation (PWM) controllers and related products that replace the products that are accused in the lawsuit.